THE REAL ESTATE CLOSING PROCESS - WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Purchasing real estate should lead you to your attorney’s office. If you need a mortgage to help finance your house or business, your attorney will act as your personal representative and act as closing agent for your lender. These two functions complement one another – logistically it is more cost-efficient for your attorney to perform both functions. Some lenders will allow your attorney to act on your behalf and as closing agent – others will require an attorney from their approved closing list to conduct the closing.

A) PERSONAL REPRESENTATION ATTORNEY FUNCTIONS:

• to oversee the transaction
• answer your questions
• review and negotiate documentation
• address any disputes between yourself and the seller
• work with your realtor and parties toward a smooth closing

Your attorney’s responsibilities also include some of the following:

a. title examination at the various Registries of Deeds and Probate ;
b. review of title examination abstracts;
c. obtain municipal lien and tax information;
d. if the property is a condominium unit, order, obtain and review resale certificates from the condo association;
e. obtain and review mortgage and lien payoff information;
f. At the closing — review the final settlement statement with you for accuracy, explain the lender’s mortgage loan documents and assist you with any issues or concerns that arise
g. prepare and issue title insurance policies certifying the Buyer has good title to the property and that the records of the Registries of Deeds and Probate have been searched;
h. record documents.

B) CLOSING AGENT TASKS:

The Closing Agent’s function is to make arrangements necessary to close the lender’s mortgage transaction. He coordinates all of the efforts outside of the loan approval process. Sometimes issues arise regarding the title to the property. When possible the Closing Agent tries to resolve these title issues and disputes.

The closing agent’s costs quoted to you by the lender include a variety of items and services:

a. prepare loan documents, including the settlement statement;
b. communicate and coordinate with Buyers, Sellers, real estate agents and lender;
c. receipt of the proceeds of the transaction and maintaining them in a safe and separate IOLTA account;
d. conduct the closing, final rundown of title at the Registry of Deeds;
e. prepare and deliver proceeds to pay off all outstanding mortgages and liens that affect the property;
f. disburse transaction proceeds;
g. copy and deliver loan documents to the lender and Buyer;

In brief, your personal attorney focuses on you and the lender’s closing agent attorney focuses on the property you are buying. These functions actually complement one another, making it logistically easier and cost-efficient if one attorney performs both functions.

Since 1976, Rego & Rego has provided residential and commercial real estate services in Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts. For more information, visit our website at http://www.rego-law.com